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Umeå Centre for Global Health Research

The Umeå Centre for Global Health Research (CGH) is a Centre of Excellence within Umeå University in Northern Sweden. The Centre operates within the university’s Division of Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences, and is led by a steering group chaired by a principal investigator.

CGH seeks to engage with a global agenda on health research and practice, addressing critical issues in global health and facilitating collaboration between and within the North and South. The Centre’s long-term research programme has been developed against a background of international epidemiological research, as well as public health work within Sweden.

It publishes the academic journal, Global Health Action.


Research conducted within CGH is interdisciplinary in nature, with staff and students working together from backgrounds in demography, public health sciences, epidemiology, medicine, economics, statistics and sociology. Research activities are clustered around five areas of expertise:

  • The epidemiological transition - research aims to contribute to theoretical and methodological development of the epidemiological transition theory[1] by contrasting disadvantaged communities in low-income countries to the well-developed setting of northern Sweden.
  • A life-course perspective[2] on health interventions - research aims to design and evaluate health interventions targeting different stages of the life course, from the unborn child to old age, taking into account social context and gender aspects, and both advantaged and disadvantaged communities.
  • Strengthening primary health care: the roles of rights, ethics and economic analyses - research is designed to inform key stakeholders involved in decision-making to strengthen primary health care in low-, middle- and high-income countries, using rights-based approaches integrated with economic analyses.
  • Gender, social inequality and health - research is based on the generation of new knowledge on gender and health, with the aim of contributing to social changes within populations and in health systems.
  • Climate change and health - research is intended to fill the knowledge gap regarding links between climate change and health, with a focus on non-communicable diseases, ageing populations, health sector responses in low-income countries and issues particular to the Arctic region.

Many of CGH’s research projects are hosted by INDEPTH (the International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health), a network of 38 field sites in 19 countries across Africa, Asia and South America. This network provides a platform to share and exchange vital health data between some of the world’s poorest countries and enables comparative studies of global research questions related to disease development, urbanisation and migration as well as opportunities to develop methods and evaluate interventions.[3]


Research training is essential to CGH. The Swedish Research School for Global Health is the result of a partnership between the Centre and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. The School seeks to achieve multidisciplinary collaboration in education, research and training by coordinating courses and seminars in global health, and improving the quality of research training.

The international Masters in Public Health, summer course and other short courses provided by the Umeå International School of Public Health also serve as entry points to research conducted by CGH.


  1. ^ Omran, A.R. (1971) 'The epidemiological transition: A theory of the epidemiology of population change', Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly 49:509–538
  2. ^ Osler, Merete (2006) 'The life course perspective: A challenge for public health research and prevention', European Journal of Public Health 16(3):230, doi:10.1093/eurpub/ck1030
  3. ^ Evans, T. and AbouZahr, C. (2008) 'INDEPTH @ 10: Celebrate the past and illuminate the future', Global Health Action, doi:10.3402/gha.v1i0.1899

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